VC Director @ Polsky Science Ventures in Chicago, IL

The Polsky Center brings the power of ideas in the laboratory, classroom, and community to the world. Through education, resources, and programs, the Polsky Center commercializes discoveries, partners with companies, and attracts venture capital. The Polsky Center runs a top-ranked business accelerator, the Edward L. Kaplan, ’71, New Venture Challenge; operates a 34,000 square-foot, multi-disciplinary co-working space called the Polsky Exchange; manages the George Shultz Innovation Fund that invests in early-stage ventures; and offers a state-of-the-art Fabrication Lab for prototyping new products. Finally, the Polsky Center houses the University of Chicago’s technology transfer unit, which manages all University-based intellectual property originating from faculty research and discoveries that can be licensed to industry partners and investors.

Job Summary

The Director, Polsky Science Ventures (PSV) is responsible for leading and managing the STEM startup engine of the Polsky Center at the University of Chicago. PSV partners with researchers, students, alumni, entrepreneurs and investors to achieve the long-term goal of bringing University of Chicago STEM innovations to market through the startup company path. PSV develops innovative approaches including its Launchpad and Innovation Fund vehicles to fostering University of Chicago-based commercial innovation activity through faculty education, startup assistance, project funding, business plan guidance, selection of entrepreneurs and seasoned executives, advice on capital structure, introductions to angel and early-stage investors and seed funding.


  • Seeks startup ideas from faculty and researchers.
  • Assists in educating faculty and researchers on the startup process.
  • Evaluates startup business opportunities.
  • Assesses the value of technology and intellectual property (if appropriate).
  • Assists in the development of business plans.
  • Finds potential entrepreneurs and other executives for the management teams of startup companies.
  • Works with CEOs and Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIRs) to construct an appropriate capital structure for a startup company.
  • Directs and helps evaluate the activities of student interns working in the PSV.
  • Assists the management teams of new startups in finding equity capital from venture capitalists and individual investors.
  • Serves as the Polsky Center’s observer representative on the boards of startup companies (when requested).
  • Manages the budget and day-to-day operations of the PSV.
  • Provides leadership for a Center with senior management and serves as a liaison to academic departments, professional organizations and administrative units of the University
  • Oversees a communication strategy and marketing efforts aimed at increasing the visibility of the Center. Collaborates with others to make the center a valuable resource to all students and contributes to the broad goals of creating a stronger campus community.
  • Performs other related work as needed.

Minimum Qualifications

Education:Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field.

Work Experience:Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 7+ years of work experience in a related job discipline.


Preferred Qualifications


  • Bachelor’s degree in a scientific or engineering field.
  • Advanced degree in business or equivalent experience.


  • At least 5 years of experience in business development, M&A, marketing, or technology commercialization.
  • Professional experience with business startups and/or venture capital.
  • Experience in academia (faculty or administration), research or technology commercialization, new product development in relevant industries, technology or invention evaluation, and familiarity with the patent process.

Preferred Competencies

  • Communicate effectively with influence, and convey information in a manner which drives engagement and motivates stakeholders to mobilize.
  • Proactively build strategic internal and external partnerships that champion value.
  • Cultivate learning environment that challenges tradition and inspires innovation.
  • Relentlessly pursue program and operational excellence and optimization.
  • Effectively manage performance of team and self in order to act with purpose to enhance competence, confidence, and capability.

Application Documents

  • Resume/CV (required)
  • Cover Letter (preferred)

When applying, the document(s) MUST be uploaded via the My Experience page, in the section titled Resume/CV of the application.

If interested, please apply here.

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